May the Force be with you!

War Diary cover Page for the Month of May.

As the month of May rolled in, the 58th became more engaged with the enemy. May 1st is a big holiday in Germany and some kind of action was expected. The Battalion was stationed in the front lines of Sanctuary Wood. It was quiet in the morning, but the Germans commenced shelling of the Strong Points and communication trenches in the afternoon. At 6:30 in the evening the began to launch mortar shells into the frontline trenches. Considerable damage was done to those trenches. At 8:15, the enemy was seen leaving their trenches and heading over No Man’s Land toward the 58th. The Germans were at a disadvantage as they were heading into the setting sun, hampering their forward vision. The 58th opened fire and drove the Hun back to their trenches, inflicting considerable losses on them.

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The remainder of the week was comparatively uneventful. There was sporadic exchange of gunfire and artillery resulting in the loss of some lives and many injuries. Below is the War Diary entries for May 1 through the 11th. The Adjutant, Capt. McKeand, now had a typewriter to work with.

War Diary page, 58th Battalion, May 1916
A page from the War Diary, 58th Battalion, May 1916 – May 1

On the 10th the Battalion was inspected by Brigadier General Thompson of the 9th Brigade. Two days later, when the 58th was back of the lines, they played another football match, this time against the 52nd Battalion. The result was a 3 – 0 victory for our boys. They stayed behind the lines until the 22nd of May. On the 23rd, they relieved the 43rd on the front lines. The Germans shelled them heavily on every day until the 29th, resulting in many casualties and deaths. The 58th was getting a taste of their own blood.

War Diary page, 58th battalion, May 1916
A page from the War Diary, may 1916, 58th Battalion – May 12
58th Battalion War Diary May 1916
War Diary page, 58th Battalion, May 1916 – May 23

On the last day of May, the Battalion headed back to Camp C. Time for some much deserved rest. We will see what June holds…

58th Battalion War Diary
War Diary for the 58th Battalion, May 1916 – May 29



One thought on “May the Force be with you!

  1. Rick….I am enjoying the depth of your research, the passion for same in the telling and it enhances the greater story of Flowers of the Forest…takes it beyond the breach and over the top……Your research tells a much deeper narrative of the so called Great War, and in the telling, makes Your Own Book, a vital read for we who never knew and often forget and should not forget. All this Dan Brown fictional malarcky is for entertainment…..for those interested in historic fiction and the power of annotation, Flowers of the Forest is made only brighter and move vivid by your co telling and journalissimo of the actual moments in History. Carry on. Glenn.

    Liked by 1 person

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